3 Drug Stocks Making Big Moves Today

SNOA shorts hit the bricks just in time

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:38 PM

The U.S. stock market is in rally mode today, with Boeing (BA) leading the Dow higher on easing trade tensions. Stocks in the pharmaceutical sector are making big moves, too, with Sonoma Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SNOA) and Tenax Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:TENX) trading higher with the broader market, though Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT) is sinking.

FDA Skin Gel Approval Boosts Sonoma Pharmaceuticals Stock

Sonoma Pharmaceuticals stock was up 32.3% earlier, but has since pared this lead to 13.8% to trade at $4.13. Boosting the drug stock is news the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the biotech's antimicrobial post-therapy skin gel, which treats pain and irritation caused by laser therapy procedures.

Longer term, SNOA has been sliding since its early January rally attempt was halted near its 200-day moving average, with the shares shedding nearly 39% from their Jan. 2 intraday high at $5.92 to last night's close at $3.63. Against this backdrop, a number of shorts jumped ship at an opportune time. Short interest on SNOA stock plunged 63.85% in the most recent reporting period.

Tenax Therapeutics Stock Gaps Higher for a Second Straight Day

Tenax Therapeutics shares are on track for another day of big gains, up 5.6% to trade at $8.29. Yesterday, the stock surged 46.4%, after the FDA put the company's blood pressure drug on a potential path toward approval. But while the equity is pacing toward a more than 50% weekly gain, it's run into resistance in the $10-$12 region, which coincides with its year-over-year breakeven mark and an early August bear gap.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Stock Heads Toward Worst Day in Three Years

Conatus Pharmaceuticals stock fell as much as 32.8% earlier, but found a familiar foothold near $4 -- which cushioned the shares late last year. More recently, CNAT was off 30.9% to trade at $4.15, though still the worst Nasdaq stock so far today and on track for its biggest one-day percentage loss since Jan. 9, 2015. Weighing on the shares is disappointing mid-stage trial data for the company's fatty liver disease treatment, emricasan.

Analysts were quick to weigh in, too, with CNAT stock seeing its price target cut at Oppenheimer (to $14), H.C. Wainwright (to $15), and SunTrust Robinson (to $20) -- though all of these still sit well above current trading levels. In fact, analysts appear to be all in on the security, even though it's been almost cut in half from its mid-March highs. All six covering analysts maintain a "strong buy" rating, while the average 12-month price target sits at a lofty $15.83.


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